ATLANTIC OCEAN –
FST-2, a team of Navy medical specialists, augments Arlington’s medical department to bring Role 2, advanced medical capabilities to the ship. These enhanced capabilities include: operating room (OR) staff capable of providing surgical support, an intensive care unit (ICU) team, behavioral health providers, and a broad range of ancillary services including additional radiology and laboratory technicians.
“With the FST, Arlington now has surgical capabilities and specialized subject matter experts to provide enhanced care for victims of the earthquake. Without an augmented team, Ship’s company is capable of Role 1 care, which is basic medical care,” said Cmdr. Shanua O’Sullivan, FST-2’s officer in charge.
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Thai Dinh, a respiratory therapist with FST-2, was previously assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), during the humanitarian mission following the earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010.
“We saw a myriad of patients, crush injuries, and pediatric patients as well,” said Dinh of the previous mission. “It was a learning curve, but an experience, along with lessons learned since then, that prepared me well for returning for this mission to Haiti. I can pass on my knowledge to junior corpsman on the team and the Sailors who have never deployed on a humanitarian assistance mission.”
As Arlington nears Haiti, the integrated medical team, comprising Arlington Sailors, FST-2, and Fleet Marine Force Corpsmen work to prepare the ship to receive patients.
“We’re setting up our main battle dress stations, we’re going through inventories and making orders for the medical materials and drugs that we need,” said Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Andrew Slaughter, Arlington’s independent duty corpsman. “We’re turning on equipment that we don’t typically use without OR capabilities. Our main focus is getting all the gear out and getting it set so that when we arrive in Haiti, we’re ready to start doing our mission to help the people of Haiti in support of USAID/BHA.”
Arlington and its crew of more than 650 Sailors, Marines and embarked personnel are deployed to U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. The blue/green team is committed to the task of supporting USAID/BHA and aiding the Haitian people to conduct disaster relief operations and rapidly reduce the suffering of victims.